Everyone's favorite astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson answered some burning fan questions on for his National Geographic program StarTalk this week, and not surprisingly, one of them was about sex. "Is there anything different about having sex in space?" asked Ronnie T.
The answer is yes. Well, sometimes.
Tyson explains that it's possible to create a normal gravity environment in space. In that case, space sex is the same as Earth sex. But without gravity, "everything is different," says Tyson.
He continues: "You need things like straps…You begin to see the manifestations of Newton's laws of motion. You're there floating in space and then you move towards someone and then they sort of just bounce off…If you want get together, stay together, you need something to keep you together, during all the body movements that would characterize having sex in space. So yeah, just bring a lot of leather belts to keep things strapped down, and you'll be just fine."
This is likely a theoretical description, for now. In 2007, Slate explained why sex in space would be less than sexy: There's very little privacy or downtime, and research suggest weightless sex might not feel that great. From Slate:
Zero gravity can induce nausea—a less-than-promising sign for would-be lovers. Astronauts also perspire a lot in flight, meaning sex without gravity would likely be hot, wet, and surrounded by small droplets of sweat. In addition, people normally experience lower blood pressure in space, which means reduced blood flow, which means … well, you know what that means.
That hasn't stopped the likes of PornHub from trying to raise money for making a sex tape in space. One small step for man, we guess.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.